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Pastor Richard Samuel Brown, Jr was born October 22, 1961, in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the fifth of six children and the eldest son of the late R.S. Brown, Sr., and Ms. Dorothy J. Brown. He was preceded in death by his oldest sister, Jacquelyn D Brown.
Pastor Brown was a third-generation preacher proudly following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Sam Brown, and his father, R.S. Brown, Sr.
Richard S. Brown, Jr attended East Lake and Barrett Elementary schools in Birmingham. He often told the stories of his long walks to and from school, no matter the weather, carrying his heavy saxophone as a youngster, only to find the family vehicle parked in the yard upon his arrival home.
The Brown family moved to Alcoa, TN, in November 1974 when R.S. Brown, Sr. was called to pastor the Bethel Baptist Church in Alcoa.
Richard attended Alcoa Middle School and Alcoa High School. He was a saxophonist and a drum major in the marching band, and he also sang in the school chorus. He received the Rotary Award for his work in the band.
In 1980, the Alcoa High School band was honored to visit Nassau, Bahamas. According to the Chalk Line newsletter, the band received high ratings at the Jazz Festival in Nassau. We always enjoyed hearing the stories about the band trip to Nassau, Bahamas. According to Richard, one night during a service, the lights went out, and the men quickly pulled their vehicles with the headlights on high beams toward the tent and began singing, “God don’t need no matches, he is fire all by himself!”
By 1980, the Alcoa Tornadoes basketball team were district, regional, and sub-state champions led by his beloved coach Osborne, affectionately known as Coach O. Richard was a star basketball player holding the position of center and co-captain of the basketball team. He received the letter award for the 1979-1980 basketball season. Richard graduated from Alcoa High School in 1980, receiving honors for academic excellence.
After high school, Richard attended Tennessee State University in Nashville. While there, he attended the Mt. Nebo Baptist church and was mentored by Rev. Dr. Gill H. Gordon, Sr. He was living in Nashville when he received the call to preach the gospel and returned to Alcoa shortly thereafter.
Rev. Brown began his ministry in 1981 at Bethel Baptist Church in Alcoa. After his ordination in 1983, he became assistant to his father, the late Pastor R.S. Brown, Sr.
Rev. Brown received a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of TN, Knoxville, in 1986. He worked his way through school while doing janitorial work for William Blount High School in Maryville.
His co-workers admired him, and the teachers were amazed at his work ethic and determination to complete his degree while working full-time. They were more than happy to offer their assistance.
Richard was employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, (TVA) as a control analyst from 1987 to 1996.
Rev. Brown was born with a compassionate desire to serve and has faithfully served the Knoxville District Baptist Association, ( KDBA).
He began serving in the KDBA youth department in his teens. He has held the positions of vice moderator of laymen and ushers, has served as a trustee of the association, and most recently served as Moderator from 2019 to 2023.
Other affiliations include:
Former Vice President of the Eastern Region TN BM&E State Convention
Former Vice President-Eastern Region Congress TN BM&E State Convention
Board Member-Alzheimer’s Tennessee
Past Member of Pastoral Advisory Committee-UT Hospital
Former Board of Directors-Compassion Coalition
Rev. Brown’s first pastorate was with St. John Baptist Church in Knoxville from 1988 to 1996.
Pastor Brown is survived by his loving wife Kirktenia of 35 years; three children and two grandchildren: Christina D. Mitchell (Russell), Jessica E. Brown (Leon Blevins), and Richard S. Brown, III-(Lydia). The grandchildren are Noah R. Mitchell and Naomi J. Blevins. Rev. Brown has three surviving sisters and one brother; Gwendolyn Whetstone (Rodney) of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Valencia M. Brown, Yvonne E. Wilson (Nathaniel), and Michael E. Brown; aunts, Vivian Brown and Beverly Gibson; nephews, Myron B. McClary, (Shanee), Marcus B. McClary, (Amy)Bryan B. McClary, (Dara), Brian Whetstone, Derek Whetstone (Lisa), Phillip Wilson, (Margarthe), Kevin Wilson, (Sarah)and Cisco Aponte. Beloved cousin and fellow yoke man of the gospel, Pastor Donnie Chapman, and a host of cousins and friends.
Pastor Brown was a gifted preacher and teacher, a compassionate pastor, and a friend to young pastors and newcomers to the city of Knoxville. He was always ready and willing to pour into others like his fathers in the ministry poured into him. God opened doors for him to preach all over the country, touching and changing lives wherever he went.
Rev. Brown has served faithfully as pastor of his beloved Payne Ave. Missionary Baptist Church family for the past 27 years. Pastor Brown completed his assignment with grace and dignity on January 13, 2024, and he has been called from labor to reward.
Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant! Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of the lord.